Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Positional analysis: Running back
By Ohm Youngmisuk
Officially, the New York Giants are no longer reigning Super Bowl champs, following the Ravens' victory on Sunday night. So let’s look toward 2013 with a position-by-position breakdown of the Giants leading into the scouting combine and free agency.
Overview: In his first season without buddy Brandon Jacobs, Bradshaw responded with 1,015 yards and six touchdowns. But he missed two games and most of a third game with various injuries. Bradshaw did rush for 200 yards against Cleveland but had just three more 100-yard rushing games on the season. Brown finally got an opportunity to show what he can do with carries and he rushed for a team-high eight touchdowns before breaking his leg. Wilson fumbled his second professional carry and found himself in the doghouse for most of the season. He saw steady action in three of the final four games and rushed for a total of 230 yards and three touchdowns. Scott landed on IR with a knee injury in October. Lumpkin and Torain were brought on late in the season for depth. Hynoski quietly had an impressive season and was a valuable contributor. The Giants' running game improved, going from last in the NFL in 2011 to 14th in rushing. But the running game needed to be more consistent and there were few dominant performances.
Free agents: Brown (restricted free agent), Lumpkin, Torain.
2013 personnel preview: Bradshaw underwent surgery to replace a screw in his right foot and will be out another eight weeks. Besides that, he is uncertain about his future with the emergence of Brown and Wilson. Tom Coughlin, though, loves Bradshaw’s toughness and the luxury of having three running backs. Wilson should be given an opportunity to compete for the starting job after showing what he could do late in the season. GM Jerry Reese says he believes Wilson can shoulder the load. Wilson, Bradshaw and Brown could be an effective trio when healthy. Brown has shown what he can do as the lead back, rushing for 113 yards and two touchdowns in a start against Carolina. He also excelled as the goal line back. Scott may need a good camp to stick around. The success of the Giants' running game, though, will hinge greatly on the status of the offensive line. Will Beatty and Kevin Boothe are free agents and it remains to be seen who will start at right tackle.
Salary-cap situation: Bradshaw is due $3.75 million in base salary next season and the Giants will likely make some tough decisions since they are projected to be $4.7 million over the cap and need to re-sign Beatty among other free agents. Brown is a restricted free agent but the Giants are expected to bring him back.
Tell us below what you think of the Giants' running back situation entering 2013.